Here we are going to look over the importance of gutters and the guards that help protect them. Often times it may seem like its a lot of trouble with install, replacement and upkeep, but the truth is they are a very vital addition to any home. Without gutters, you could be stuck with basement flooding, rotting, fungal growth, even condensation building up on the windows inside of your house. We will break this down into a few different topics, discussing the importance that gutters present, how to keep leaves out of your gutters (including more specifically how to keep pine needles out of them), and well even break down a very basic cost example to help you to determine what the best options may be. For a reliable and trustworthy roofing contractor that specializes in gutters and gutter guard protection system, Dustin Johnson Exteriors & Roofing is the best in the industry.
Do I Really Need Gutters?
Short answer is yes. Gutters are an absolutely vital part of any house. People often wonder if gutters are actually needed. Without gutters, the rain would fall off the roof, yes, but instead of being lead to designated safe areas away from the house, it will drop down alongside the house. This will cause a whole host of issues, mainly being collecting water right against the house. If you notice that the soil around your house is soaked, then it is safe to assume that some of that water will be finding its way its way into your house, be it through the basement, crawl space of the concrete floor. This can cause all sorts of damage to the inside of your house from mold to fungal wood-rot, and that can become a very expensive problem to have to fix.
Having a functional gutter system can prevent water damage to your roof which can cause rot and also cause deterioration and mold to the shingles, soffit, fascia and masonry. It will also prevent moisture in the windows caused by condensation, damaged sills or interior walls. The gutter system will also prevent water along the foundation which can cause erosion, further damaging your foundation and causing basement flooding.
Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles
There are many different types of gutter guards, but when it comes to pine needles, that really tends to narrow it down. The common guards consisting of plaster or metal mesh will not be effective against pine needles. Pine needles are long and then and will most often fall into the holes of the screen or flow with the water around the curve of solid guards and get themselves stuck in the gutter. Enough pine needles building up will eventually clog the gutters, resulting in overflow that can eventually cause further damage. The needless can not penetrate foam gutter guards, but they do get stuck in the top surface, which will then trap other debris that is falling off of the roof. Pulling the needles out of the foam is a very difficult task, especially while working from a ladder.
There is another type of gutter guard that is very effective against pine needles and other sediment from the shingles. It is an aluminum structure which consists of a series of channels that are separated by gaps covered with a fine mesh stainless steel cloth. The water will readily pass through the mesh, but it leaves out virtually all solid matter. Instead, the solid matter will sit on top of the mesh until it is washed off. The construction of the guard is such that the mesh will not sag, so the debris never collects. They even have an option to install a head strip to prevent ice dams from gathering in the colder weather.
How Much Does it Cost to Put Up Gutters
The average cost to install galvanized or aluminum gutters is approximately $4 to $9 per linear foot. There are also vinyl gutters which are much easier to install and run roughly $3 to $5 per linear foot. Let’s say you need about 125 to 200 feet of gutters installed, the materials cost will run about $1050 to $2400. That price is strictly just materials only and does not include the cost of install.
There are many different materials that you can choose from. PVC and vinyl will be your least expensive option. There are also aluminum gutters, which can dent easily and become brittle with prolonged exposure to the elements. Wood gutters are also available at around $16 foot. Aluminum averages $4 to $9 a foot, while steel runs around $4 to $8 a foot. There is also a copper option which is by far the most expensive choice at around $20 per foot. As for the labor, it would take the average contractor about 7 hours to install a 50 foot section of gutters, so for a 150 to 200 foot gutter install, it would take about 3 to 4 days to complete
How to Keep Leaves Out of Gutters
A very popular question when it come to gutters is “How do I keep the leaves out of my gutters?” Well, the best, and really only answer is simple, gutter guards. Gutters are a very important addition to any house, but with them comes one big problem, gutters being clogged. This most often happens when you have trees around your house. The leaves fall and end up in the gutter causing it to clog up the entire works.. When the leaves and other debris clog up your gutter, it will cause all the water that flows into it to start spilling over the edge. Now while one may think that is ok, water is all going to the same place, this is not true at all. What occurs is all the water spilling over the edge will fall down all along your house, right against the foundation. This will cause the ground to soften and give and start eroding right against the foundation of your house, which can then case basement flooding and a whole host of other issues. Now, you could just keep cleaning out the gutters, but you also have to understand that all the weight of the leafs will also begin to damage the gutters. At that point you will have replace the whole gutter system, but there is an answer. The answer to this issue is by adding gutter guards.
Hopefully after reading through this write up, you have a better idea of importance of a good gutter system, and even the need to add gutter guards. When gutters are not maintained it can lead to a whole host of other issues that can end up costing you a whole lot of money. Just to do a quick recap, gutters help prevent water from falling and settling around the foundation of your home, causing possible basement flooding and other damage inside the house. This can also happen when your gutters become clogged (usually full of leaves and other debris). When the gutters become clogged, the water has no where to drain, so it will just flow over the edges and cause the same issues as if there were no gutters. Not only that but the extra weight will end up destroying the gutters, requiring you to replace them which again, is a costly venture.
The best way to care for your gutters is to use gutter guards. This will keep them from clogging up, therefore minimizing damage done. Depending on the type of trees you have around your house will also depend on what type of gutter guards you want to get. This is important because if you have mostly pine trees, then you will have to worry about all the pine needles getting through the mesh and other types of gutter guards. Also, maintenance is extremely important as to also prevent any unnecessary issues and extra costs.